A beloved World War II veteran and pillar of his local community was brutally killed in a violent mugging by four teenagers on his driveway.
Terrance Morgan and Edward Johnson, both 19, and Leslie Litt and Geblonski Murray, both 18, have been arrested for the violent death of Lawrence E. ‘Shine’ Thornton of Greenville, Mississippi on October 18.
Assistant police chief Andrew Kaho said that each of the teens were also charged with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.
They were initially being held without bond in the Washington County jail pending an initial court appearance but the judge then handed down bonds between $2million and $3million.
Kaho says police were called to Thornton’s home at 5:30pm on Friday, October 18.
The 87-year-old had been accosted in his driveway by two men who ‘pushed him down and stole his wallet’. He died two days later after being airlifted to hospital.
According to his obituary, Thornton was a war veteran and retired electrician who kept a liquor store on the side to support his family.
He served as a minesweeper for the Navy.
He was known in the Delta region for his award-winning Maria’s Famous Hot Tamales, which he began cooking in 1984, named after his wife, Mary.
According to Southern Foodways, Shine entered the hot tamale business with a jerry-rigged recipe he got from a friend, and added his own spin to it.
Thornton earned his nickname Shine in high school when he began picking out the notes to ‘You are My Sunshine’ during the intermission of a performance.
Members of the band started calling him Sunshine and eventually shortened it to Shine, according to his obituary.
His sunny disposition was still with him as he grew older. According to the website he would sell his snacks out of the custom built kitchen in his home and sit with customers, often playing the fiddle to entertain his guests.